Teachers respond to proposed budget

PHOENIX - The Arizona House Appropriations committee is still debating the K-12 funding bill. 

So many people showed up to watch, they are backed up outside.

Now in the Senate, they are still on the floor debating this bill in the Appropriations committee.  They're more than 2.5 hours late because of a debate on a school safety bill.

The K-12 funding bill includes $273 million for teacher raises that would go to districts before next school year. That includes $100 million in discretionary money for districts to spend on buildings, busses, or classroom needs.  

Governor Ducey says this is how he will get the money:

  • First, he says an improving economy, paired with state government running more efficiently will be most the money.
  • Beyond that: lower Medicaid costs will help create budget room.  
  • The state also expects to get $22 million from Medicaid drug rebates 
  • It plans to levy a higher hospital assessment fee to create another $30 million

This plan gives teachers a 10 percent raise for next year but doesn't meet their other demands. It only gives raises to teachers with a class roster, leaving out staff and art teachers.

 "I don't think it meets it yet, no absolutely not, but I think It's a step in the right direction," said Jennifer Valentine, a teacher in the Sunnyside School District. "But this is only a start we have to keep going after this."

"And what I want to know is if I'm not a teacher why does it say art education on my master's degree," said Lianna Potrikus, an art teacher.

 

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